Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Simon Drugda, PhD Candidate at the University of Copenhagen

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held that Russia committed numerous human rights violations against Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after complaining of maltreatment.
  2. The Thailand Ombudsman challenged swearing-in ceremony of the PM and government officials before the Constitutional Court. The Cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha failed to recite the complete oath of office, omitting the sentence: “I will also uphold and comply with the constitution of the kingdom in every aspect.”
  3. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered disciplinary action against a judge who convicted former PM Nawaz Sharif.
  4. The Supreme Court of India will hear challenges to a government order revoking the autonomy of contested Kashmir. The Court also allowed an opposition politician to visit the region that has been under lockdown for weeks.
  5. The Supreme Court of South Korea will consider whether to uphold the bribery conviction of Jay Y. Lee, a Samsung heir, in a scandal that unseated former President Park Geun-hye.

In the News

  1. The UN Human Rights Committee found that Nepal violated Articles 7 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in a case of a domestic worker, who claimed that he was tortured and forced to work in Kathmandu from the age of 9.
  2. Lawmakers in China adopted a new legislation to allow local governments to tax up to 164 resources, including fossil fuels, minerals and eventually water, at their own discretion.
  3. The Queen of the United Kingdom approved a request by PM Boris Johnson to suspend the Parliament for almost a month in the run-up to Brexit. The attempt to suspend the Parliament has been challenged in courts.
  4. The President of Ukraine has submitted to the Parliament several draft single-subject constitutional amendments, including a proposal to reduce the number of MPs and introduce citizens’ legislative initiative. The amendments were flagged as urgent for consideration of the Parliament, which agreed to expediate the legislative process.
  5. The Parliament of North Korea approved constitutional amendment to solidify leader Kim Jong Un’s role as head of state.
  6. A Brazilian congressional committee approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow commercial agriculture on indigenous reserves, a practice that is currently prohibited.
  7. Philippine lawmakers introduced legislation based loosely on a Netflix political thriller called the “Designated Survivor” to ensure the country has a president in the case of a constitutional leadership crisis.

New Scholarship

  1. Charles M. Fombad and Nico Steytler (eds), Decentralization and Constitutionalism in Africa (2019) (exploring the objectives and impact of decentralization initiatives in Africa and the conditions necessary for their effective implementation)
  2. Anna Olijnyk, Justice and Efficiency in Mega-Litigation (2019) (exploring the phenomenon of extremely long-running, resource-intensive civil litigation known as “mega-litigation”)
  3. Melissa Crouch, The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis (2019) (providing a thorough analysis of the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar in its historical, political and social context)
  4. Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, and Xavier Groussot, The Future of Europe Political and Legal Integration Beyond Brexit (2019) (examining the question how to achieve sustainable political and legal integration in Europe)
  5. Graham Butler, Constitutional Law of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy Competence and Institutions in External Relations (2019) (arguing that the legal framework for EU foreign affairs must adapt in a changing world so as to ensure the EU treaties can cater for a more assertive Europe in the wider world)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The flagship journal of Gujarat National Law University, the GNLU Law Review invites submission for its 7th edition. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2019.
  2. The European Society of International Law (ESIL) at the European University Institute (EUI) invites submissions for a conference on “Solidarity-The Quest for Founding Utopias of International Law,” to be held on April 23-24, 2020. The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 20, 2020.
  3. The Rehnquist Center invites submissions for the third annual National Conference of Constitutional Law Scholars. The conference will be held at the Westward Look Resort in Tucson, Arizona, on March 20-21, 2020. The deadline for submission of abstracts is November 1, 2019.
  4. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center invites applications for a Research Fellow position (post-doc) at the Center for Global Constitutionalism headed by Mattias Kumm. The deadline for applications is September 16, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Richard Albert, A new Constitution for Ontario and new hope for Doug Ford, The Toronto Star
  2. Pierre Thielboerger, Una-Fjord-able: Why Trump cannot buy Greenland, Völkerrechtsblog
  3. Stefan Theil, Prorogued until October?, Verfassungsblog
  4. Michael Gordon, Is Boris Johnson’s parliamentary prorogation constitutional? How to understand the UK system, The Conversation
  5. Chitranshul Sinha, How “seditious speech” was dropped from draft Indian constitution but is still a crime, Quartz India
  6. Pierre de Vos, Why the National Assembly is constitutionally required to adopt rules for the removal of the Public Protector and other members of Chapter 9 bodies, Constitutionally Speaking
  7. Nicholas Tsagourias, Electoral Cyber Interference, Self-Determination and the Principle of Non-Intervention in Cyberspace, EJIL: Talk!
  8. Kieran Pender, “A powerful chill”? Comcare v Banerji [2019] HCA 23 and the political expression of public servants, AUSPUBLAW
  9. Mark Elliott, The Brexit Secretary says he has “set in stone” the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 — but the legal significance of this misleading claim is very limited, Public Law for Everyone
  10. Ibrahima Amadou Niang, A new Guinean Constitution at All Costs? Africa’s Latest Third-Term Quagmire, ConstitutionNet


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